February 2014

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28 February 2014

Tempe, Arizona Council Unanimously Passes Pro-LGBT Ordinance

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 27 February 2014, Tempe City Council enacted an ordinance banning anti-LGBT discrimination in housing, employment, and service in places like restaurants and hotels.

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27 February 2014

Boh Bros. Construction Co. to Pay $125,000 for Same-Sex Harassment in EEOC Lawsuit

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 27 February 2014, Boh Bros. Construction Co. has agreed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to a consent judgment which requires the company to pay $125,000 in compensatory damages to a former employee in a sex discrimination/same sex harassment case. The consent judgment cannot be appealed and effectively brings the litigation to a close.
• Consent Judgment: US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Boh Brothers Construction Co LLC No. 09-6460 PDF 35.15kb, 26 FEB 14

Mayor Gray Announces Steps to Protect GLBT Community from Discrimination in Health Care

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 27 February 2014, Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the District of Columbia had advanced the rights of the city's transgender community by prohibiting discrimination in health insurance based on gender identity and expression.
• Bulletin: Prohibition of Discriminaton in Health Insurance Based on Gender Identity or Expression 12-IB-01-30/13 PDF 2.49MB, 27 FEB 14

Joint Tax-Filing for Gays Signed in Colorado

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 27 February 2014, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law that requires gay couples that are married in another state or in a Colorado civil union to file their taxes using the same filing status used on their federal tax return. The law will apply to tax years beginning on 01 January 2013.

Same-sex marriage now legally recognized in Kentucky

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 27 February 2014, US District Judge John G. Heyburn II issued a final order confirming his 12 February ruling that Kentucky's ban on (recognising out-of-state) same-sex marriages treated “gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them”. On 28 February the Judge stayed his order until 20 March 2014.
• Order: Gregory Bourke et. al. v. Steve Beshear et. al. No. 3:13CV-750-H PDF 205.86kb, 27 FEB 14
• Memorandum and Order: Gregory Bourke et. al. v. Steve Beshear et. al. No. 3:13CV-750-H PDF 208.92kb, 28 FEB 14

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes 'turn away the gays' bill

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 26 February 2014, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed House Bill 2153/Senate Bill 1062 allowing anyone to refuse services to anyone, for any reason including being LGBTI, as long as religious belief violations are claimed.

26 February 2014

Massachusetts House passes updates to anti-bullying law

UNITED STATES, Massachusetts: On 26 February 2014, the House approved (143-4) a bill (H.3909 An Act relative to bullying in schools) designed to build on the state's 2010 anti-bullying law in part by strengthening protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and students with disabilities. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Lawsuit against Texas school district settled

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 21 February 2014, the (insurer for) Kilgore Independent School District paid Skye Wyatt $77,500 to settle her lawsuit (alleging violation of her constitutional right to privacy). The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed 2-1 the favorable judgment of US Magistrate Judge John D Love in the District Court on 30 November 2011.

Federal judge invalidates Texas’s marriage equality ban

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 26 February 2014, US District Judge Orlando Garcia issued a preliminary injunction striking down the state's marriage equality ban as unconstitutional, although he stayed his decision pending appeal. Judge Garcia also explicitly ruled that Texas's refusal to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages also lacks rational basis.
• Order: Cleopatra De Leon & Ors. v. Rick Perry & Ors No. SA-13-CA-00982-OLG PDF 474.60kb, 26 FEB 14

Uganda promises gays will still have access to healthcare

UGANDA: On 26 February 2014, health minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda reportedly said that the Anti-Homosexuality Act will not apply to doctors or other healthcare professionals and LGBT people still have access to hospitals to seek treatment. There being no such specific exemptions enshrined in the legislation, this appears a hollow promise.

24 February 2014

92-Year-Old Trans Widow Wins Social Security Battle

UNITED STATES: On 24 February 2014, 92-year-old transgender widow and World War II veteran Robina Asti, has reportedly come away victorious in her recent battle with the Social Security Administration. After being denied spousal benefits following the death of her husband, Norwood, the SSA deposited money into her account earlier in February.

Setback for same-sex partners as ruling means pension payouts on death can be smaller than those given to straight married couples

UNITED KINGDOM: On 18 February 2014, Mr Justice Langstaff in the Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that the UK Equality Act 2010 includes an exemption that allows companies, if they wish, to pay out less in survivor benefits to those in civil partnerships compared to married couples, limiting the amount of survivor's pension owed to the civil partner of one of its members to the benefits accrued since 05 December 2005, the date at which civil partnerships came into law.
• Judgment: Innospec Ltd & Ors. v. Mr J Walker UKEAT/0232/13/LA, 18 FEB 13

Uganda president signs anti-gay bill into law live on TV

UGANDA: On 24 February 2014, President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law.
Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014 PDF20.27kb, 18 FEB 14

Ugandan MPs lied to President Museveni on gay science report

UGANDA" On 24 February 2014, a team of Ugandan doctors and scientists who were commissioned to investigate whether homosexuality is a choice found that it was not - but reportedly Government MPs subsequently distorted their findings in their report to President Yoweri Museveni, leaked documents reveal.
•Report: Consensus Statement on the Presidential Scientific Committee on Homosexuality PDF 91.73kb, 22 FEB 14

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21 February 2014

TLDEF Name Change Victories in North Carolina

UNITED STATES, North Carolina: On 14 November 2012 and 10 February 2014 respectively, before the Superior Court in the Counties of Wake and Durham, Síle Kelleher and Hadassah Chayim obtained orders enabling them to change their names from Michael Damian Kelleher and David Gravri'el Hobbs, the Court finding in both cases that denying the name changes would cast doubt on the constitutionality of N.C.G.S. § 101-6.
• Order: In the Matter of the Name Change of Michael Damian Kelleher 12-SP-4876 PDF 1.45MB, 14 NOV 12
• Order: In Re: Change of Name from David Garvi'el Chayim to Hadassah Gavriella Chayim 13-SP-1523 PDF 1.45MB, 10 FEB 14

Life Imprisonment for 'Honour Killing' of Gay Turkish Teenager

TURKEY: On 10 February 2014, Metin Çiçek, the father and uncles Seyhmus and Mehmut, were jailed for life for the 2012 'honour killing' of 17-year-old gay teenager Rosin Çiçek in the south-east city of Diyarbakir.

German court declines to rule on joint adoption by gay couples

GERMANY, Karlsruhe: On 21 February 2014, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe dismissed on procedural grounds a request from a Berlin district court to rule on allowing same-sex couples in civil partnerships the right to adopt children.

Arizona Anti-Gay Bill Advances

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 20 February 2014, the House passed 33-27 and the Senate passed 17-13 House Bill 2153/Senate Bill 1062 that would allow businesses to discriminate against gay customers based on religious beliefs. The bill's fate is now up to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.

Uganda leader puts anti-gay law on hold to seek more scientific advice

UGANDA: On 18 February 2014, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni reportedly said in a statement dated 18 February that he would not sign the anti-gay law until after hearing more advice from scientists. Other reports suggest he has already signed the Bill into law.

Victory! Court Grants Immediate Freedom to Marry to Illinois Same-sex Couples

UNITED STATES, Illinois: On 21 February 2014, Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in the US District Court of Illinois ordered the Cook County Clerk's office to provide marriage licenses immediately (21 Feb) to same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry.
• Memorandum Opinion and Order: Brenda Lee and Lee Edwards et. al. v. David Orr Case No. 13-cv-8719 PDF 52.04kb, 21 FEB 14

19 February 2014

Mississippi city approves LGBT resolution

UNITED STATES, Mississippi: On 18 February 2014, Hattiesburg City Council unanimously approved a resolution to add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to its diversity statement.

Uganda: Defamation ruling against four pastors who said another'sodomised' his flock upheld

UGANDA: On 19 February 2014, Justice Joseph Murangira in the High Court upheld the lower court ruling that four Ugandan pastors defamed another pastor accusing him of 'sodomising' his male flock. They were sentenced to a hundred hours of community service and 1million Ugandan Shillings (£244) each.

Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Ohio’s Gay Marriage Ban

UNITED STATES, Ohio: On 19 February 2014, a Complaint was filed on behalf of a couple in the US District Court of Ohio seeking a declaration that Ohio's statewide ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, interfering with their fundamental rights of family and parenting and preventing them from purchasing family health insurance policies.
• Complaint: Cowger and Wesley v. Kasich Case: 1:14-cv-335 PDF 76.04kb, 19 FEB 14

Colorado Couples Challenge State Gay Marriage Ban

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 19 February 2014, a Complaint was filed on behalf of nine couples in the Denver District Court challenging the state constitution's ban on gay marriage on various grounds.
• Complaint: McDaniel-Miccio et. al. v. Hickenlooper & Anor. 2014-CV-30731 PDF 305.30kb, 19 FEB 14

Senator declares Kan. anti-gay marriage bill dead

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 18 February 2014, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff King declared dead House Bill 2453, that would grant legal protections for people and organizations refusing for religious reasons to provide goods and services to gay and lesbian couples, but hearings on whether Kansas needs to enact religious liberty protections will still be held.

18 February 2014

Kentucky Couples Sue for In-State Marriage Rights

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 14 February 2014, a “Motion to Intervene” was filed on behalf of two couples seeking to have US District Judge John G. Heyburn to expand on his recent decision in “Gregory Bourke et al v. Steve Beshear et al” and declare that the denial of marriage licences to same-sex violates the US Constitution.
• Motion to Intervene: Gregory Bourke et. al., Timothy Love v. Steve Beshear No. 3:13-CV-750-JGH PDF 249.06kb, 14 FEB 14

17 February 2014

Same-Sex State Tax Bill Passes House, Heads To Governor

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 17 February 2014, the House passed Senate Bill 14-019, that requires any 2 taxpayers lawfully married out of state and who may legally file a joint federal income tax return to file separate state income tax returns if they file separate federal income tax returns and to file a joint state income tax return if they file a joint federal income tax return.

Washington to Convert Domestic Partnerships to Marriage

UNITED STATES, Washington: On 17 February 2014, it was reported that same-sex domestic partners who have not married or legally dissolved their domestic partnership by the end of June will have their relationships automatically converted to marriage. The conversion won't affect domestic partners who are seniors (62 years of age or older), same-sex or opposite-sex, as domestic partnerships will remain an option only for them. Another state rule, set to take effect next month, “will allow marriage certificates to reflect two dates: the date of the marriage, as well as the legal date of the union, which is the date the couple registered their domestic partnership”.

16 February 2014

Christians Are a Cause of LGBT Oppression So We Have to Be a Part of the Liberation!

INTERNATIONAL: Op.Ed.: There is a deplorable common thread that ties together recent examples of the global oppression of LGBT people: Christian complicity.

15 February 2014

Church of England bans gay priests from getting married

UNITED KINGDOM: On 14 February 2014, the House of Bishops released new 'pastoral guidance' outlining strict rules on LGBTI clergy and congregation. Gay priests are banned from same-sex marriage and gay couples will only be able to receive informal prayers from priests, not official blessings.

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14 February 2014

Anti-discrimination ordinance now at City Hall

PHILIPPINES, Davao Del Sur: On 05 February 2014, the Davao City Anti-discrimination Ordinance was transmitted to City Hall for approval by the mayor. The measure will lapse into law after the expiration of 10 days.

Uganda president to sign anti-gay bill into law

UGANDA: On 14 February 2014, a government spokesman reported announced that President Yoweri Museveni has decided to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill after 14 medical experts presented a report that homosexuality is not genetic but a social behavior.
•Press Release: Presentation by a team of scientists from MOH and Makerere University on homosexuality and genetics in humans 14 FEB 14

Bill to Prevent Gay Conversion Passes Washington House

UNITED STATES, Washington: On 13 February 2014, the House passed 94-4 House Bill 2451, that would would make it an act of unprofessional conduct to try to change the sexual orientation of a patient under 18. That would include efforts to change behaviors, gender expressions or to reduce sexual or romantic attractions toward people of the same sex. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Wyoming House defeats gay marriage bills

UNITED STATES, Wyoming: On 13 February 2014, the Wyoming House defeated 41-17 HB87 that would have defined marriage as a contract between two natural persons and HB108 that would have prohibited the state from recognizing gay marriages performed outside the state was defeated 31-29.

Virginia gay marriage ban overturned

UNITED STATES, Virginia: On 13 February 2014, District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, issuing a stay of her order while it is appealed.
• Opinion and Order: Timothy B Bostock & Ors v. Janet M Rainey & Ors Civil No. 2:13cv395 PDF 1.98MB, 13 FEB 14

13 February 2014

Russia bans adoptions by foreign same-sex couples

RUSSIA: On 13 February 2014, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reportedly signed a decree banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples, as well as by unmarried citizens of countries where same-sex marriage is legal, with effect from 12 February. The move comes as a technical amendment to the law passed in mid-2013 and offers detailed legal definitions of basic rules already included in the Russian Family Code.

Same-sex couple clear adoption hurdle

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 05 February 2014, Judge Edward Rubin in the 15th Judicial District Court signed the final decree and judgment granting the first intrafamily second-parent adoption in Louisiana to Angela Costanza of son Nicholas, born to Chasity Brewer 9 years ago. In 2008, the couple were married in California.

Court orders Texas to recognise marriages of trans people

UNITED STATES, Texas: On 13 February 2014, the Thirteenth District Court of Appeals ruled in “In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Deceased” that Texas must recognise the marriages of trans people and remanded the case for further proceedings concerning the death benefits claim.
• Opinion: In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Deceased No. 13-11-00490-CV PDF 412.49kb, 13 FEB 14

Lawsuit Challenges Alabama Anti-Gay Marriage Law

UNITED STATES, Alabama: On 16 December 2013, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Paul Hard challenging the Alabama laws that prohibit the recognition of his marriage, which was legally performed in Massachusetts.
• Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief: Paul Hard v. Robert Bentley & Ors No. 2:13-CV-922-WKW-SRW PDF 734.09kb, 16 DEC 13

Indiana Senate Prevents Voters from Considering Gay Marriage Ban Until at Least 2016

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 13 February 2014, the Senate offered no amendments to HJR3, the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and thus the language struck by the House earlier this month was not reinserted, meaning the measure must begin its process from the beginning and will not reach voters until at least 2016.

12 February 2014

ACLU Seeks State Recognition for Marriages of Eight Same-Sex Couples

UNITED STATES, Missouri: On 11 February 2014, the ACLU of Missouri filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Jackson County on behalf of eight couples challenging the constitutionality of Missouri's laws denying legal recognition of their marriages.
• Petition for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief: Barrier & Ors v. Vasterling & Ors PDF 141.60kb, 11 FEB 14

Four gay couples sue Louisiana for marriage rights

UNITED STATES, Louisiana: On 12 February 2014, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Forum for Equality Louisiana & Ors challenging the state's constitutional ban on recognizing same-gender marriages legally performed outside the state.
• Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief: Forum for Equality &0rs v. Tim Barfield and Devin George Case No: 2:14-cv-00327 PDF 227.43kb, 12 FEB 14

Judge: Kentucky Must Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

UNITED STATES, Kentucky: On 12 February 2014, US District Court Judge John G Heyburn II ruled Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The ruling did not address the question of the constitutionality of the ban against same-sex marriage within the State.
• Memorandum Opinion: Gregory Bourke et al v. Steve Beshear et al No. 3:13-CV-750-JGH PDF 350.10kb, 12 FEB 14

11 February 2014

Constitutional Court in Georgia lifts ban on homosexuals giving blood

GEORGIA: On 11 February 2014, it was reported that the Constitutional Court had struck down as unconstitutional a thirteen year old ban on homosexual men becoming blood donors. Health Minister Avtandil Jorbenadze signed the unconstitutional order on 05 December 2000, and since then homosexual men have not been allowed to donate blood.
Kansas House passes bill that would allow service refusal to same-sex couples on religious grounds

UNITED STATES, Kansas: On 11 February 2014, the House Committee of the Whole voted 72-42 to pass HB2453 (Protecting religious freedom regarding marriage) that would give public and private employees the right to refuse service based on their religious beliefs on (same-sex) marriage.

Adoption of same-sex partner's children allowed in Idaho

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 10 February 2014, Justice J Jones for the Idaho Supreme Court concluded that “ Any adult person” in the §16-1501 of the Idaho Code cannot possibly be construed to mean “any married adult person” so, a second-parent adoption doesn't require that the parties be married to each other, and adoption of an opposite-sex partner's (or even friend's) children would be allowed as well, so long as the other requirements for adoption are met.
• Opinion: In the Matter of the Adoption of John Doe and John Doe 1 Docket No. 41463 PDF 79.22kb, 10 FEB 14

Senate committee passes stripped gay marriage ban bill

UNITED STATES, Indiana: On 10 February 2014, the Senate Rules Committee passed Resolution HJR-3 that would amend the constitution stipulating that only marriage be between one man and one woman would be recognized. Language that also would ban same-sex civil unions being omitted.The Bill must pass the Legislature again this session to go to voters in a November referendum.

10 February 2014

Attorney General Formalizes "Broad" Federal Recognition Of Same-Sex Couples' Marriages

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 10 February 2014, the Attorney General Eric Holder released the Justice Department’s formal policy guidance on “ensuring equal treatment for same-sex couples”, based primarily of the “place of celebration”.
• Office of the Attorney General: Department Policy on Ensuring Equal Treatment for Same-Sex Married Couples PDF 1.28MB 10 FEB 14

09 February 2014

Ireland to recognize foreign gay marriages

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: On 08 February 2014, a Department of Justice spokesman reportedly confirmed that if the May 2015 referendum allowing same sex marriage in Ireland is passed, unions that took place in 45 foreign countries will be granted retrospective recognition as marriages in the jurisdiction.

Attempt To Ban Gay Marriage Fails In El Salvador

EL SALVADOR: On 07 February 2014, the Legislative Assembly voted 84-19 against a constitutional amendment aimed at banning gay marriage.

08 February 2014

Attorney General Makes Landmark Announcement from HRC NY Gala Stage

UNITED STATES, Washington DC: On 08 February 2014, the US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that policy changes would will recognize same-sex marriages as equal to traditional marriages in all federal legal matters, including bankruptcies, prison visits and survivor benefits. The federal rules have no effect on state laws.
• Department of Justice: Remarks as prepared for delivery by Attorney General Eric Holder at the Human Rights Campaign Greater New York Gala PDF 130.30kb, 09 FEB 14

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06 February 2014

South Carolina Rules Same Sex Married Couples Can't File Jointly

UNITED STATES, South Carolina: On 03 February 2014, the Department of Revenue advisory opinion concluded that South Carolina does not recognize same-sex marriages. Same-sex couples considered married for federal income tax purposes must use a filing status of single or, if applicable, head of household for South Carolina income tax purposes and prepare their South Carolina returns as though they are single.
• Department of Revenue: SC Revenue Ruling #14-1 [2014] FamCA 9 PDF 27.36kb, 03 FEB 14

05 February 2014

Senate passes same-sex tax filing bill 29-6, it now heads to Otter

UNITED STATES, Idaho: On 05 February 2014, the Senate voted 29-6 in favor of HB 375, granting final passage to the bill that requires same-sex couples who are legally married in other states to file separately on their Idaho income tax returns. The awaits Governor Butch Otter's signature. It earlier passed the House 27-12.

Panel Votes to Shield Business Owners from Discrimination Suits

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 04 February 2014, the Committee on Government passed 5-2 HB2153 that would, were it to become law, give individuals and the businesses they own more rights to refuse to provide services based on their sincerely held religious beliefs. The measure needs approval of the full House before going to the Senate.

04 February 2014

Bill would allow same-sex couples to use surrogate in Israel

ISRAEL: On 04 February 2014, it was reported that a government-sponsored Bill giving same-sex couples to use a surrogate in Israel was reportedly released and open for public suggestions for three weeks. The use of surrogates abroad would be restricted to couples who pay for the services of intermediary companies licensed by the government or clinics approved by special committees. Those who use surrogates abroad without going through an approved intermediary could face one year in prison.

Victory: Gay marriage now legal in Scotland

UNITED KINGDOM, Scotland: On 04 February 2014, the Scottish Parliament passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in a 105-18 vote. The Bill will take effect with Royal Assent.

03 February 2014

9 States With Anti-Gay Laws That Aren’t That Different From Russia’s

UNITED STATES: On 03 February 2014, a report suggests that the States of Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah have “No Promo Homo” laws not so dissimilar to Russia's anti-gay laws.

01 February 2014

Same-Sex Couples Challenge Wisconsin Gay Marriage Ban

UNITED STATES, Wisconsin: On 03 February 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint in the US District Court for the western district of Wisconsin on behalf four same-sex couples challenging the ban on same-sex marriage.
• Complaint: Wolf and Schumacher v. Walker PDF 79.92kb, 02 FEB 14

Scottish anti-gay adoption agency wins appeal to keep charity status

UNITED KINGDOM, Scotland: On 31 January 2014, the Scottish Charity Appeals Panel overturned the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator finding that St Margaret's Children and Family Care Society was in breach of the Equality Act 2010 by discriminating against same-sex couples.
• Decision: St Margaret's Children and Family Care Society v. Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator AP 02/13 PDF 4.06MB, 31 JAN 14

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